The University has seven colleges and schools: the Carnegie Institute of Technology (engineering), the College of Fine Arts, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the Mellon College of Science, the Tepper School of Business, the School of Computer Science, and the H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management.
Since its inception, Carnegie Mellon has grown into a world-renowned institution, with numerous programs that are frequently ranked among the best in the world. In the most recent release of the Top 200 World Universities by Times Higher Education, Carnegie Mellon was ranked 20th overall and 7th in technology. In the 2009 edition, U.S. News & World Report ranked Carnegie Mellon's undergraduate program 22nd in the nation amongst national research universities, and in the 2009 edition its graduate programs in Computer Science 4th, Engineering 7th, Business 17th, Public Affairs 10th, Fine Arts 7th, and Psychology 9th. The university attracts students from all 50 U.S. states and 93 countries and was named one of the "New Ivies" by Newsweek in 2006. Peer institutions of Carnegie Mellon include Caltech, Cornell, Duke, Emory, Georgia Tech, MIT, Northwestern, Penn, Princeton, Rice, RPI, Stanford, and Washington University.
Post-Civil War industrialists accumulated unprecedented wealth and were eager to found institutions in their names. Washington Duke at Duke University, Leland Stanford at Stanford University (for his late son), John D. Rockefeller at the University of Chicago, Cornelius Vanderbilt at Vanderbilt University, and Phoebe Hearst at the University of California, Berkeley were just a few. Carnegie Mellon University was one such school.
Carnegie Technical Schools was founded in 1900 in Pittsburgh by the Scottish American industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, who wrote the time-honored words "My heart is in the work" when he donated the funds to create the institution. Carnegie's vision was to open a vocational training school for the sons and daughters of working-class Pittsburghers. The name was changed to the Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1912, and the school began offering four-year degrees. In 1967, it merged with the Mellon Institute of Industrial Research to become Carnegie Mellon University. In addition, Carnegie founded Carnegie Mellon's coordinate women's college, Margaret Morrison Carnegie College in 1903 (the college closed in 1973).
There was little change to the campus during the period of the two World Wars and the Great Depression. A 1938 master plan by Githens and Keally suggested acquisition of new land along Forbes Avenue, but the plan was not fully implemented. The period starting with the construction of GSIA (1952) and ending with Wean Hall (1971) saw the institutional change from Carnegie Institute of Technology to Carnegie Mellon University. New facilities were needed to respond to the University's growing national reputation in artificial intelligence, business, robotics, and the arts. In addition, an expanding student population resulted in a need for improved facilities for student life, athletics, and libraries. The campus finally expanded to Forbes Avenue from its original land along Schenley Park. A ravine long known as "the cut" was gradually filled in to campus level, joining "the Mall" as a major campus open space.
The buildings of this era reflect current attitudes toward architectural style. The International Style, with its rejection of historical tradition and its emphases on functionalism and expression of structure, had been in vogue in urban settings since the 1930s. It came late to the Carnegie campus because of the hiatus in building activity and a general reluctance among all institutions of higher education to abandon historical styles. By the 1960s, it was seen as a way to accomplish the needed expansion and at the same time give the campus a new image. Each building was a unique architectural statement that may have acknowledged the existing campus in its placement, but not in its form or materials.
During the 1970s and 1980s, the tenure of University President Richard M. Cyert (1972–1990) witnessed a period of unparalleled growth and development. The research budget soared from roughly $12 million annually in the early 1970s to more than $110 million in the late 1980s. The work of researchers in new fields like robotics and software engineering helped the university build on its reputation for innovation and practical problem solving. President Cyert stressed strategic planning and comparative advantage, pursuing opportunities in areas where Carnegie Mellon could outdistance its competitors. One example of this approach was the introduction of the university's "Andrew" computing network in the mid-1980s. This pioneering project, which linked all computers and workstations on campus, set the standard for educational computing and established Carnegie Mellon as a leader in the use of technology in education and research.
In the 1990s and into the 2000s, Carnegie Mellon solidified its status among elite American universities, consistently ranking in the top 25 in US News and World Report rankings. Carnegie Mellon is distinct in its interdisciplinary approach to research and education and through the establishment of programs and centers that are outside the limitations of departments or colleges has established leadership in fields such as computational finance, information systems management, arts management, product design, behavioral economics, human-computer interaction, entertainment technology, and decision science. Within the past two decades, the university has built a new University Center, theater and drama building (Purnell Center), business school building (Posner Hall), and several dormitories. Baker Hall was renovated in the early 2000s, and new chemistry labs were established in Doherty Hall soon after. Several computer science buildings, such as Newell Simon Hall, also were established, renovated, or renamed in the early 2000s. The university is in the process of building the Gates Hillman Complex and renovating historic academic and residence halls.
The Gates Hillman Complex will sit on a site on the university's West Campus, surrounded by Cyert Hall, the Purnell Center for the Arts, Doherty Hall, Newell-Simon Hall, Smith Hall, Hamburg Hall and the Collaborative Innovation Center. It will contain 318 offices as well as labs, computer clusters, lecture halls, classrooms and a 250-seat auditorium. The Gates Hillman Complex was made possible by a $20 million lead gift from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and an additional $10 million grant from The Henry L. Hillman Foundation. The building is anticipated to be completed within 2 years. The Gates Hillman Complex and the Purnell Center for the Arts will be connected by the Randy Pausch Memorial Footbridge.
On April 15, 1997, Jared L. Cohon, former dean of Yale University's School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, was elected president by Carnegie Mellon's Board of Trustees. During Cohon's presidency, Carnegie Mellon has continued its trajectory of innovation and growth. He leads a strategic plan that aims to leverage the University's strengths to benefit society in the areas of biotechnology and life sciences, information and security technology, environmental science and practices, the fine arts and humanities, and business and public policy.
A large grassy area known as "the Cut" forms the backbone of the campus, with a separate grassy area known as "the Mall" running perpendicular. The Cut was formed by filling in a ravine (hence the name) with soil from a nearby hill that was leveled to build the College of Fine Arts building.
The northwestern part of the campus (home to Hamburg Hall, Newell-Simon Hall, Smith Hall, and the site of the future Gates Hillman Complex) was acquired from the U.S. Bureau of Mines in the 1980s.
In 2008, Carnegie Mellon professor Randy Pausch's "Last Lecture" became a pop culture phenomenon. Based on a lecture he gave in September 2007 - shortly after he learned his cancer had metastasized - his book quickly rose to the top of bestseller lists around the country. Named one of TIME's 100 Most Influential People, he died in July 2008 from pancreatic cancer.
In addition to the research and academic institutions, the University hosts the Pennsylvania Governor's School for the Sciences, a state-funded summer program that aims to foster interest in science amongst gifted high school students. The Cyert Center for Early Education is a child care center for Carnegie Mellon faculty and staff, as well as an observational setting for students in child development courses.
Carnegie Mellon University Libraries include Hunt Library, the Engineering and Science Library, the Mellon Institute Library, the Posner Center, and the Qatar Library. Additionally the Libraries manage the Hunt Botanical Library and Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, Software Engineering Institute Library, and the Universal Digital Library. The library system includes a number of special collections such as the Herbert Simon Collection, Allen Newell Collection, the H. John Heinz III Collection, and the Posner Memorial Collection among many others. Carnegie Mellon students and faculty also have access to the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and the University of Pittsburgh libraries through the Oakland Library Consortium.
For the undergraduate class of 2011, the admission rate was 28.0%. In 2007, the University received a record 22,356 undergraduate applicants, an increase of 18.5% from 2006, and admitted 6,259. The 2006 class had an average SAT verbal score of 657 and math score of 728. Also, 71% of the admitted students for the class of 2010 were in the top 10% of their graduating high school classes. In 2006, the most selective undergraduate college was the Tepper School of Business, which admitted only 13.9% of total applicants. The largest college, in terms of enrollment, is the Carnegie Institute of Technology with 423 students in the class of 2011, followed by the College of Fine Arts (with 265 students) and the College of Humanities & Social Sciences (with 260). The smallest college in terms of total undergraduate students is the Tepper School of Business, with 93 undergraduate students enrolled for the class of 2011. Carnegie Mellon enrolls students from all 50 states, and 13% of the students are citizens of countries other than the United States. About 94% of first-year students return for their second year, and 69.3% graduate within four years (86.2% within six). Undergraduate tuition is $36,950 for the class of 2011 and room and board is $9,660.
For the class of 2010, Carnegie Mellon had the highest overlap in applications with Cornell University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of Pennsylvania. The class of 2010 had the highest overlap in acceptances with the University of Michigan, Johns Hopkins University, and Washington University in St. Louis.
For the 2006 fiscal year, the University spent $315 million on research. The primary recipients of this funding were the School of Computer Science ($100.3 million), the Software Engineering Institute ($71.7 million), the Carnegie Institute of Technology ($48.5 million), and the Mellon College of Science ($47.7 million). The research money comes largely from federal sources, with federal investment of $277.6 million. The federal agencies that invest the most money are the National Science Foundation and the Department of Defense, which contribute 26% and 23.4% of the total university research budget respectively.
The Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC) is a joint effort between Carnegie Mellon University, University of Pittsburgh, and Westinghouse Electric Company. PSC was founded in 1986 by its two scientific directors, Dr. Ralph Roskies of the University of Pittsburgh and Dr. Michael Levine of Carnegie Mellon University. PSC is a leading partner in the TeraGrid, the National Science Foundation’s cyberinfrastructure program.
The Robotics Institute (RI) is a division of the School of Computer Science and considered to be one of the leading centers of robotics research in the world. The Field Robotics Center (FRC) has developed a number of significant robots, including Sandstorm and H1ghlander, which finished second and third in the DARPA Grand Challenge, and Boss, which won the DARPA Urban Challenge. The RI is primarily sited at Carnegie Mellon's main campus in Newell-Simon hall.
The Software Engineering Institute (SEI) is a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense and operated by Carnegie Mellon University, with offices in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Arlington, Virginia, and Frankfurt, Germany. The SEI publishes books on software engineering for industry, government and military applications and practices. The organization is known for its Capability Maturity Model (CMM) and Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI), which identify essential elements of effective system and software engineering processes and can be used to rate the level of an organization's capability for producing quality systems. The SEI is also the home of CERT/CC, the federally-funded computer security organization. The CERT Program's primary goals are to ensure that appropriate technology and systems management practices are used to resist attacks on networked systems and to limit damage and ensure continuity of critical services subsequent to attacks, accidents, or failures.
The Human-Computer Interaction Institute (HCII) is a division of the School of Computer Science and is considered one of the leading centers of human-computer interaction research, integrating computer science, design, social science, and learning science. Such interdisciplinary collaboration is the hallmark of research done throughout the university.
Carnegie Mellon is also home to the Carnegie School of management and economics. This intellectual school grew out of the Tepper School of Business in the 1950s and 1960s and focused on the intesection of behavioralism and management. Several management theories, most notably bounded rationality and the behavioral theory of the firm, were established by Carnegie School management scientists and economists.
There are more than 70,000 Carnegie Mellon alumni worldwide. Famous alumni include former General Motors CEO and Secretary of Defense, Charles Erwin Wilson; billionaire hedge fund investor David Tepper; James Gosling, creator of the Java programming language; Andy Bechtolsheim, co-founder of Sun Microsystems; Vinod Khosla, billionaire venture capitalist and co-founder of Sun Microsystems; pop artist Andy Warhol; astronaut Judith Resnik, who perished in the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster; and Randy Pausch, author of the Last Lecture.
Carnegie Mellon alumni have won Nobel prizes, Turing awards, Academy awards, Emmy awards, and Tony awards. John Forbes Nash, a 1948 graduate and winner of the 1994 Nobel Prize in Economics, was the subject of the book and subsequent film A Beautiful Mind. Alan Perlis, a 1943 graduate was a pioneer in programming languages and recipient of the first ever Turing award. Overall, Carnegie Mellon is affiliated with 15 Nobel laureates, ten Turing Award winners, seven Emmy Award recipients, three Academy Award recipients, and four Tony Award recipients (including Andrew Omondi).
Carnegie Mellon also has produced several alumni who have had success in Hollywood, Broadway and the music industry. They include Best Actress Academy award winner Holly Hunter, actor James Cromwell, Get Smart actress Barbara Feldon, actor Ted Danson, director George Romero, actor Zachary Quinto and actor Blair Underwood, among many others.
The Greek tradition at Carnegie Mellon University began nearly 100 years ago with the founding of the first fraternity on campus, Theta Xi, in 1912. The Panhellenic sorority community was founded in 1945, by Chi Omega, Delta Delta Delta, Delta Gamma, Kappa Alpha Theta, and Kappa Kappa Gamma. During the spring semester of 2006, the Greek community consisted of 26 active fraternities and sororities: 5 Panhellenic sororities; 12 Interfraternity Council fraternities; 4 Asian American groups, 2 fraternities and 2 sororities; and 4 National Pan-Hellenic (historically African American) chapters represented on campus (3 fraternities and 1 sorority). Of Carnegie Mellon’s undergraduates, 965 were members of social Greek-letter organizations. This number reflected 18.4% of the campus population.
Current Interfraternity Council fraternities:
Current Panhellenic sororities:
Current Pan-Hellenic Chapters (Historically African-American):
Current Asian-American fraternities and sororities:
Carnegie Tech's AP Ranking history includes:
In 2006, the varsity football team was offered a bid to the NCAA Division III playoffs, and became one of the first teams in school history (the first team to win a Division III playoff game was in 1977, when Carnegie Mellon beat Dayton) and University Athletic Association (UAA) conference history to win an NCAA playoff game with a 21-0 shutout of Millsaps College of the SCAC conference. In addition to winning a playoff game, several team members were elected to the All American and All Region Squads. The 2006 team won more games in a single season than any other team in school history. The current coach is Rich Lackner, who is also a graduate of Carnegie Mellon and who has been the head coach since 1986.
The Carnegie Mellon University Rowing Club is a club-sponsored crew team organized by students of the university. They participate in several regattas across the northeast, including the Dad Vail Regatta in Philadelphia.
In recent years, the varsity track and cross country programs have seen outstanding success on the Division III national level. The men's cross country team has finished in the top 15 in the nation each of the last three years, and has boasted several individual All-Americans. The men's track team has also boasted several individual All-Americans spanning sprinting, distance, and field disciplines. Recent All-Americans from the track team are Brian Harvey (2007, 2008), Davey Quinn (2007), Nik Bonaddio (2004, 2005), Mark Davis (2004, 2005), Russel Verbofsky (2004, 2005) and Kiley Williams (2005).